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The Liver Tree

by Dr. Christopher Ging

Copyright by Vital Chi 2001

If you often experience nervous tension, emotional stress, anger mixed with depression, a sluggish stomach, shallow sleep, and chronic fatigue, and for women abdominal cramp shortly before a menstruation cycle, you may have liver functional abnormality.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has accumulated at least 4,000 years of experience in treating the liver. Through these thousands of years of observing and treating patients with traditional Chinese medicine, we have discovered that the liver function directly impacts the autonomic nervous system, the stomach, spleen, pancreas, heart, small intestine, and kidney function.

The early clinical signs of liver functional abnormality are bloated stomach, excessive gastric secretions, gassiness, nausea, dizziness, tiring easily, numbness in the limbs, blurry eyes, irregular bowel elimination, depression, irritation, impatience, frustration, irregular menstruation cycle, always being in a hurry, and waking up frequently during the night.

Medical "liver function" tests often do not measure liver function fully, nor do they accurately reflect the etiology or severity of disease. In other words, if your "liver function" test result is normal, it does not mean that your liver is indeed functioning normally. According to my clinical observation, many people who have come to me as patients had liver functional abnormality, yet didn't know i

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we describe the liver as a tree in many ways. If we understand how the liver works, we can then learn to live a longer, better life by taking good care of our liver.

The liver is a biochemical plant, like a tree in many ways:

The color of the tree: Green. The primary color of the liver and gall bladder is green. Any green vegetables, herbs, or fruits are ingested into the liver and gall bladder. Green light has a shorter wavelength, between 500 - 560 nm, compared with the stomach, which is dominated by citric light (590 nm - 620 nm), and the heart, which is dominated by red light (620-760 nm). Green light, however, carries a higher frequency than citric and red light. Therefore, the liver is capable of purifying the blood and performing chelation and detoxification, just as the green vegetables, herbs, and fruits detoxify the body and kill non-beneficial bacteria and viruses.

The leaves of the tree: Blood and Resource Bank. The chief function of leaves in green plants is to make food (carbohydrates, proteins) and release oxygen through photosynthesis, which combines energy from sunlight with water from the roots of the tree. The liver combines light energy with organic matter and assimilates them into sugar and protein, processing and assimilating the juice from the heart, lungs, and stomach into sugar (glucose), amino acids, proteins, fatty acids and ketone bodies. After assimilation, the liver is able to store the blood, sugar, and other building materials. When the body needs blood or other building materials, the liver dispenses them back to the heart, lungs, and stomach, so the liver is a resource bank, always making the blood, glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, ketone bodies available to the organs.

The circulation of the tree: Directing body energy upward and downward for blood circulation and metabolism balance. The tree is able to send water stored in the roots upward to the leaves for photosynthesis. As the sun goes down or the winter season arrives, the tree's energy descends, and the water and sugar are stored in the roots, just as two-thirds of the body's blood returns back (downward) to the liver after sunset. The liver is able to uplift every drop of the venous blood in the portal vein to flow back (upward) to the heart for reutilization and purification.

Upward flowing energy of the tree: Like water desiring to flow free, liver energy flows freely upward. Symptoms in the head, such as anger, depression, stroke, headache, dizziness, vision problems, tinnitus, oral ulcer, gingivitis, sinusitis, ear infection, hair loss, short memory loss, insomnia, etc., are directly related to liver function. When the liver is strained, boxed in, or pressured, it cannot lift life juices to the brain. First, the liver becomes frustrated, then irritated, depressed, shrunk (fatty liver), and hardened (liver cirrhosis), and finally it dies (liver fire is extinguished). When the liver is stressed, it heats up (called 'liver fire'), bringing boiling blood to the brain, causing anger, stroke, high blood pressure, fire eyes, heartburn, reflux, heart palpitations, chronic cough, tinnitus, Bell's palsy, neck/shoulder sprain, twitching eye, and gassy and bloated stomach.

The Relationships of the Liver and the OrgansT

The liver has special relationships with the heart, stomach, lungs, kidneys, colon, and brain. Understanding these relationships helps with caring for our liver for a longer, happier life.

The Liver and the Heart. The relationship of the liver to the heart is like a mother nurturing and supplying the child. The liver as a blood and resource bank stores abundant blood and energy-producing fuels. Whenever the passion and desire of the heart moves, the liver can sense the blood volume required by the heart and deliver it to meet the heart's desire. Most of the heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, are attributable to abnormal liver function. The liver function plays a vital role in heart health by inducing the body into deep and sound sleep during the night, easing off heart tension and preventing heart disease.

The Liver and the Stomach. The relationship of the liver to stomach is like a tree to the earth. The earth and the earth water are well maintained in the ground when many trees are planted. When liver function is compromised, hydrochloric acid builds up in the stomach, causing heartburn, stomach distension, stomach pain, reflux, gassy stomach, and insomnia.

The Liver and the Lungs. The relationship of the liver to the lungs is like a tree to fire. Like a tree, when the liver is stressed out, it releases lots of burning heat. Such a burning heat can burn the lungs, causing chronic cough (cough all year around), asthma, pleural infection, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, migraine headaches, and sinusitis. Most liver infections are caused by viral infections. The lungs are highly sensitive to liver blood contaminated by viral infection as the liver blood flows first to the lungs to be processed.

The Liver and the Kidneys. The kidney is mother to the liver and is the master of water metabolism. Without adequate supply from the kidneys, the liver becomes withered and dried like a tree without moisture.

The Liver and the Colon. The enzymes and bile secreted by the liver not only can break down fats but also can stimulate peristalsis of the colon. Therefore, the liver has a direct impact upon bowel movements.

The Liver and the Brain. Since liver energy tends to go up to the head, the liver has a direct impact on brain energy. The liver is the primary organ for synthesizing ketone bodies, which can be used as fuel later to produce glucose to the brain.

Symptoms of Liver Function Abnormality

As we can see, liver functional abnormality can cause many symptoms. If you have experienced more than two symptoms listed below, you may have liver functional abnormality:

  • hepatitis B, C, D through K gaining weight even when eating little
  • depression/irritability feeling gassy or bloated after a meal
  • environmental and food allergies fungus, candida, and parasites
  • high blood sugar, high blood pressure poor sleep or difficulty in relaxing
  • constipation rotating with diarrhea poor vision and/or poor concentration
  • high cholesterol/high triglycerides deeply lined/burned/cracked nails
  • itching, aches, and pains all over the body neck and/or shoulder pain
  • dizziness and migraine headaches numbness in limbs
  • irregular menstruation cycle abdominal cramp
  • skin problems: eczema, acne, aging spots viral infection
  • liver pain under right rib cage and/or T9 and T10 region
  • chronic cough

Lifestyle And Dietary Change Are Necessary To Regenerate The Liver:

Go to bed at 9:30 p.m. or no later than 10:00 p.m.

Sing, rejoice and praise God while taking a shower, while driving, and while walking.

Herbs such as almond and chrysanthemum can bring the liver Yang and the heart Yang down to the abdomen so that the brain can enjoy the tranquil delta waves.

Drink 2 cups of celery, beet, or cabbage juice (not fruit juice) or eat lots of green vegetables. For fruits, only eat apple, papaya, strawberry, and grapes.

Eat no sweets, such as candy bars or ice cream, and consume no alcohol or tobacco, carbonated beverages, or coffee. These can lead to fatty liver, eventually resulting in liver cirrhosis. Eat no greasy foods, such as fried chicken.

Over-consumption of drugs for a long period of time can damage liver function. Find ways to use natural remedies to cut down the drugs gradually.

No dairy, cheese, or butter, which can facilitate the formation of intestinal fungal or bacteria growth, causing candida and food allergies.

Drink 2 cups of pure drinking water as soon as you get up in the morning.

Fast. Chronic liver damage can be healed through fasting. The liver begins to normalize after one to two weeks of fasting, and an amazing amount of liver cell regeneration may take place.

Practice Reverse Breathing Technique as described in the April issue of Indigo Sun.

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